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 Joseph “Joe” Siemont

Joseph “Joe” Siemont

Schenectady, Schenectady County, New York, USA
Death 10 Oct 2012 (aged 81)
San Mateo, San Mateo County, California, USA
Burial San Mateo, San Mateo County, California, USA
Memorial ID 100040301 · View Source
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Our loving Father and Grandfather, Joseph Siemont, passed into eternal rest on October 10, 2012. He was surrounded by family at his bedside after a lengthy illness. Joe passed at home, surrounded by the people and things he loved, knowing he was cared for by his children, for whom he had loved and cared for all his life. His passage was peaceful, as were his final days. Father Strunk of St. Gregory's Parish provided the Anointing of the Sick the day before.

Joseph Siemont was born January 30, 1931 to Stanislava (Stella) Jasinski Siemiontkoski and Jan (John) Siemiontskoski in Schenectady, New York. He is preceeded in death by a brother, Adam Siemont who passed in 1981, his father who passed in 1952 and his mothers' passage into eternal rest in 1988. Another brother, John (Jan) had passed before the age of three due to childhood influenza. It is a testament to Joe's character that years later, he bought a headstone for this little angel as the family could not afford one at the time of the child's death. Joe was the person who never forgot about the little children, the importance of the family unit and was always concerned about others' feelings within those relationships.

During his childhood, he worked on a fruit and vegetable delivery truck, riding up and down the streets of Schenectady, New York, earning a dollar a week. After several months, he saved up enough money to buy a bicycle which he used and kept for many years. One afternoon, well after he was in college, he looked out the kitchen window and saw a younger neighborhood kid taking his old hard-earned bicycle. Rather than chasing after the thief, he watched the kid take the bicycle, telling us later, "He must have needed it more than I did." That was the essence of his personality. He always thought the best of people, and his personality was one of forgiveness, patience and understanding.

Joe graduated from St. Adalberts' Roman Catholic grammar school, where he was also served as an altar boy. He graduated with high honors from Mont Pleasant High School, even completing college preparatory Technical Mechanical courses.

Starting at age 18, Joe Siemont worked at the General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York, starting as an apprentice, and becoming a machinist in four short years. As did many of his colleagues in the 'greatest generation', he enlisted in the Army, where he worked with the Army Core of Engineers. He served from 1955 to 1956 on active duty, remaining in the Army reserves until 1963, when he received an honorable discharge. He traveled to France, England, Germany and Iceland during his military service. After leaving the military, he then earned a teaching credential at New Yorks' private Union College. He taught high school briefly, but was always fascinated by science and new developments. He attended Albany State Teachers College (now State University of New York), earning a Bachelor of Science in 1961.

At one fateful meeting in an elevator in the General Electric Plant, Joe asked a young lady for a light for his cigarette. The raven-haired girl, with deep dimples in her smile, was June B. Garrick. She handed him the pack of matches she just pulled out of her brassiere. The moment he met her, that was it for him, "She was the prettiest girl I have ever seen," He always said of his wife, June. For her, Joe was her knight in shining armor. They married in 1961 after both relocated to California, initially living in Burlingame, then residing in San Mateo Village area for fifty years. Joe and June were inseparable. They were married over forty-seven years and enjoyed raising their four children. They worked hard every day, and instilled the hard work ethic they learned from the Depression in each of their four children, Gary, Sharon, Stasia, and Kathleen.

Joe worked many years as a contracts and purchasing manager at Randtron Systems in Menlo Park, Ca., later purchased by Raytheon and finally purchased by Loral/L3 communications. His specialty was sourcing and designing the specifications for military satellite systems. He ran for the College of San Mateo School Board in 1969 with the motto "No axe to grind." He valued education highly, and stressed always the importance of education in order for any person to maintain their freedom.

While working at Randtron, he often needed engineers, machinists, and welders, and he sought applicants through the American Veterans associations in San Mateo County in order to fill these positions. He felt it was his duty to find a place for those who had served their country, if he could. Every Valentines' day, he brought cupcakes home for his daughters and flowers for his wife.

Joe served on the search party in the mid 1980's for Tonya Zack, a young daughter of a co-worker at Randtron who had been killed by a vagrant with mental illness when her car broke down on Highway 17. From this tragedy, he taught his daughters self-reliance and made sure they knew how to take care of themselves and had the means to do so.

Another incident demonstrating Joe's character was when he was called into a meeting with a number of higher-ups at Randtron. He was the supervisor of one of the machinists, and the vice president was upset that the tooled machinery had droplets of paint on them. After letting the executives rant and rave about how they were going to fire the sloppy machinist, Joe calmly agreed that the piece in question did have paint on it, and that was unacceptable. This particular paint, he added, was not allowed in the machine shop, as it was not temperature hardened, but instead it was standard interior paint. "Almost exactly matches the paint in your office, doesn't it?" Joe added quietly. (The vice-president's office had been recently redecorated.) He took the machined piece and cleaned it off easily. Joe understood that the machined model had been clean when delivered to the vice-president's office, and had gotten paint on it from during the redecorating. In his understated way, he saved the machinist from blame, and allowed the executives to save face.

Joe often worked late, and he made the effort to know the janitorial staff by name. He had the rare gift of remembering the often-overlooked people. Once, he was leaving work late on a Friday when a branch supervisor appeared in the parking lot, desperate to get into the building because he had forgotten his wallet. Joe knew the janitor, and because they were friends, the janitor opened the building for Joe to allow the other supervisor to retrieve his wallet.

Joe Siemont always made the effort to smile, be polite, and joke with others to make them feel comfortable. He would joke with the oncology nurses, even as he was undergoing painful chemotherapy treatment in the last six months of his life. He never complained. It was important to him to make people feel comfortable and welcome, and always complimented the hard work of those around him to make them feel appreciated, especially those who were often overlooked. Joe's generosity to others cannot be understated, as he spent his life caring, listening, and helping people, often without thanks or acknowledgement.

He is survived by niece Mary Lou Mumford, of Roanaoke, Virginia and John A. Siemont (nephew) of Schenectady, New York. Surviving family includes his son Gary R. Garrick of Santa Cruz, and grandson Anduin (Gary Jr.) Garrick also of Santa Cruz. He is survived by his daughter, Sharon G. Foster, and her husband, Michael Foster of Redwood City, and their adult children Joshua Foster of Georgia and Sandra Foster, also of Redwood City. His daughters, Stasia K. Siemont, of San Mateo and Kathleen Siemont-Spear, Esq. of Napa, California and their families will miss him tremendously.

The nondenominational services celebrating Joe's life will be held at Sneider & Sullivan, in San Mateo California. Joe Siemont will be interred at the family plot in Skylawn Cemetery, next to his loving wife, June who predeceased him in 2008. The family wishes the funeral and remembrance services to remain private. Charitable donations in Joseph Siemont's memory can be sent to the American Legion San Mateo Post #82, 130 South Blvd., San Mateo, CA 944032 (650) 345-7388.

Source: Sneider & Sullivan & O'Connell's Funeral Home

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  • Created by: Mark Utley
  • Added: 2 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100040301
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph “Joe” Siemont (30 Jan 1931–10 Oct 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100040301, citing Skylawn Memorial Park, San Mateo, San Mateo County, California, USA ; Maintained by Mark Utley (contributor 47178748) .